The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is seeking input from the public about cannabis.
But don’t get your hopes up just yet, marijuana fans. The FDA isn’t asking because a possible dramatic shift in domestic weed policy is afoot. It’s asking because the World Health Organization is toying with the idea of rescheduling cannabis on its own.
What rescheduling would mean
Currently, marijuana sits alongside heroin as a Schedule I substance under federal law. Reclassifying it, or legalizing it on the federal level, would allow those in various states’ medical or recreational industries to use banking services, allow for expanded research and create jobs, proponents say. It would also allow anyone over a certain age to possess and use marijuana.
So far, more than 3,000 people have chimed in to offer their opinions during the public comment period.
Those who wish to add their thoughts for federal review can comment here before the Sept. 30 deadline.
Overwhelming majority want pot reclassified
Folks like Todd King hope marijuana is reclassified by the federal government. That echoes nearly all of those who have commented so far.
“Since the medical legalization in my state, Cannabis, has been very helpful to me and several members of my family,” King wrote. “For me cannabis has provided relief from two stress related and debilitating conditions I’ve dealt with on a regular basis for many years.”
Josh Bennett, another commenter, sees it from a business angle.
“Marijuana should be decriminalized and marijuana businesses should be able to access banking services,” he wrote. “I feel that alcohol is far more dangerous than marijuana is and that allowing the sale and distribution of it would not have an adverse effect on the country. In fact, I think the jobs and taxes created from the growth and manufacture of related products would help our country, not hurt it.”
Americans broadly favor cannabis legalization
Scrolling through the comments, it’s hard to find
many any opposed to rescheduling marijuana. That shouldn’t be a surprise. According to a CBS News poll earlier this year, 65 percent of Americans favor legalizing marijuana.
And even the person who kind of sort of doesn’t want it, is okay with it as long as there are loads of restrictions. Comments are allowed to be anonymous, such as this one:
You must not allow legalization unless the following restrictions are met: You have an adequate way of testing people immediately and use that test to ensure anyone with ANY THC in their system who is operating a motor vehicle is given jail time and a large fine for having complete disregard for the lives of others on the road. It must be illegal to smoke/consume in public, including all public establishments as well as ANY outside space that is not a privately-owned area. It should also be restricted from housing complexes like apartments to protect the rights of people who live in such places that do not want it around.
Others had a simpler message.
“I am a 62 year old grandma with a spotless record,” Marilyn Pierce wrote. “I don’t drink or smoke cigarettes. Cannabis relieves my pain, depression, anxiety and glaucoma. I demand my freedom and pursuit of happiness. I love this God given, natural herb. Take it off the Schedule 1 list. Cannabis is safer than water, aspirin or peanuts.”